Are Pharmaceutical Ad’s Downplaying Health Risks?

Humira / Maher Law Firm

Humira / Maher Law Firm

Are Pharmaceutical Ads Reliable?

The Miami Herald (1/28, Tasker) reported that “one current TV pharmaceutical ad, for the plaque psoriasis drug Humira [adalimumab], shows visuals of a group of friends at a cabin on a pretty mountain lake while a voiceover warns of such possible side effects as cancer, liver damage and heart failure.” The FDA is trying to “better understand the issue,” so “last year” it “convened a panel of TV ad experts to study how much people are influenced during direct-to-consumer prescription drug ads by such factors as ‘images, scene changes, words on the screen and music that occur at the same time as an audio presentation of risk information.’” According to a “June 2011 report, the panel found evidence that ads with the most-positive visuals gave viewers positive feelings about the drugs,” but “because of a flaw in the experiment, the group said it could draw no conclusions on a key question: whether the tone of visuals affected comprehension of risks.”

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